17 Jun 2022
by Ruby Peacock

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) publishes its inquiry into racial inequality in health and social care workplaces.

The inquiry found that job insecurity in the health and social care sectors caused fear of victimisation among low-paid ethnic minority staff. The findings highlighted that in England and Wales, ethnic minority workers were more likely to be employed on zero-hour contracts.

The recommendations relate to UK Government, local commissioners and providers in health and social care, they include:

  • providing strong leadership in health and social care providers to model behaviours expected of others and make diversity and inclusion a priority
  • ensuring health and social care employers meet the Public Sector Equality Duty in a way that is evidence-based and transparent and reduces racial inequality
  • implementing regulatory frameworks in health and social care to address inequality issues, make workplaces fairer to improve staff welfare, and raise standards and quality of care
  • improving awareness of and compliance with employment rights, including by bringing forward proposals to introduce a Single Enforcement Body
  • developing accessible ways for workers to raise concerns and access redress if they believe they have experienced discrimination
  • providing mandatory training for managers on dealing with workforce complaints, including relating to bullying and harassment on the grounds of race
  • developing national structures for better data collection on the health and social care workforce, including equality data and employment outcomes and experiences, to ensure workplace equality for all and targeted steps to support lower-paid ethnic minority workers.

Launched by the EHRC in November 2020, the inquiry examined the experiences of workers from a range of ethnic minorities employed in lower-paid roles in the health and adult social care sectors across England, Scotland and Wales. Their roles included healthcare assistants, porters, cleaners, security staff and residential, homecare workers.

Report: Experiences from health and social care: the treatment of lower-paid ethnic minority workers


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